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MailTribune.com
  • Colo. man charged with murder in Venice Beach attack

  • LOS ANGELES — A 38-year-old Colorado man was charged Tuesday with nearly three dozen felony counts, including murder, for allegedly plowing his car into pedestrians on the Venice boardwalk, killing an Italian newlywed.
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  • LOS ANGELES — A 38-year-old Colorado man was charged Tuesday with nearly three dozen felony counts, including murder, for allegedly plowing his car into pedestrians on the Venice boardwalk, killing an Italian newlywed.
    Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, who is expected to make his first court appearance at arraignment Tuesday afternoon at the Airport Courthouse, faces one count of murder, 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.
    At the court hearing, Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila is expected to ask that Campbell's bail be set at $1.48 million.
    Campbell is accused of driving his 2008 Dodge Avenger onto the boardwalk shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, killing Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy, and hitting 16 others.
    The victims were not identified but prosecutors said they were evenly split between men and women. Authorities said Campbell abandoned the vehicle and turned himself in to Santa Monica police about two hours later.
    Sources familiar with the investigation said Campbell made spontaneous statements to police at the time of his arrest, implicating himself in the hit-and-run.
    Sources said Campbell had possibly been living in his car, purchased in Colorado about a month ago. Public records indicated Campbell had addresses in Florida, Georgia and Colorado.
    Records also showed that Campbell had a history of arrests for minor crimes in Denver and Florida, including a reckless driving citation involving alcohol in Panama City Beach, Fla.
    His worked at a Denver-area sober living center until June, performing menial tasks in the kitchen and "house management," said David Hall, executive director of Sobriety House Inc., in an interview Tuesday.
    Hall said Campbell worked at the center from April 2010 until February 2012 and again from December 2012 to June. He said the staff was shocked when they heard about Campbell's arrest; he would not discuss Campbell's background, citing personnel issues.
    "I don't have any solid idea (why this happened) and wouldn't venture to conjecture anything," Hall told the Los Angeles Times. "We had no problems with him (Campbell). He was a good employee for us."
    In Colorado, a Nathan L. Campbell with the same date of birth as the suspect was accused of shoplifting in February 2009 and spent five days in a Denver jail; he also was accused of trespassing in July 2009 and spent 10 days in jail, records show.
    He had also been accused of trespassing in 2008, Denver County court records show. Denver police confirmed the records and jail time.
    Florida public records show that a Nathan Louis Campbell was arrested in April 2008 by Panama City Beach police and charged with reckless driving with alcohol. He was listed as a transient born in Georgia.
    Investigators are still trying to figure out a precise motive but allege that Campbell intentionally drove his car at pedestrians on the busy Venice Ocean Front Walk, which was crowded with tourists.
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